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The State of the Nation(‘s capital)

By Deref - 25 August 2010 21

I’ve just come back from a holiday in Queensland. What stuck out like canine testicles as soon as I got back was how incredibly scruffy and unloved Canberra looks compared with even small towns elsewhere, let alone significant cities.

There are dead and dying trees everywhere, rubbish and weeds litter the main thoroughfares, Civic looks as if it could use a coat of paint, the water level signs on the Barton Highway and Yarra Glen are a great idea – but they’ve been temporary for years – how about something more permanent and attractive? The place just unloved and uncared for.

I have no major problem with public artwork (though I might question the taste of the selectors), but I’d rather see money go into keeping the place looking good before sticking a few random objets d’art around the place.

What’s Your opinion?


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21 Responses to
The State of the Nation(‘s capital)
Pork Hunt 4:58 pm 25 Aug 10

What ever happened to the “Adopt a road” scheme that was around a few years ago. Seems to have died in the arse.
Companies and businesses would sign up to keep a certain road or street litter free etc.

Perhaps RiotACT could adopt a street? I’d do my bit. What about Canberra Av between Fyshwick and Qbn?

JC 4:14 pm 25 Aug 10

MissChief said :

In regards to main thoroughfares of Canberra, I have to agree with others. I feel particularly depressed when driving to or from the airport now. Used to be such a pretty tree-lined stretch of road and a great introduction to our city. But the roadworks, tree removal and bombing of the Molonglo River area (that’s what happened there, right?) have the whole area looking like a neglected industrial zone.

I dearly hope Mr Stanhope finds some time away from the arboretum for the rest of Canberra.

If you are talking about the tree removal closer to the river edge you will find it had to be done because the tree’s (non native BTW) were taking over. Might look crap and bare but it had to be done.

marcothepolopony 2:55 pm 25 Aug 10

I just drove past the Jamison Inn, where I had my wedding reception in 1974.
That place is disgusting! Time for the property developer/sporting or religious club who purchased it to knock it over. It is embarrassing.
The government did a good job mowing the grass last summer considering all the rain.
It is the roadside litter and unkempt look of the place that is letting Canberra down.
More on the spot fines for litterbugs (usually driving the tail-gaiting Commodore/Falcon utes).

MissChief 1:32 pm 25 Aug 10

TAMS service request is here http://www.contact.act.gov.au/app/home

I used it recently to have the eyesore garden around our suburb sign cleaned up. Worked a treat! Within a couple of weeks a team had been out, weeded, pruned and put down new tanbark.

In regards to main thoroughfares of Canberra, I have to agree with others. I feel particularly depressed when driving to or from the airport now. Used to be such a pretty tree-lined stretch of road and a great introduction to our city. But the roadworks, tree removal and bombing of the Molonglo River area (that’s what happened there, right?) have the whole area looking like a neglected industrial zone.

I dearly hope Mr Stanhope finds some time away from the arboretum for the rest of Canberra.

bobbatty 1:04 pm 25 Aug 10

Deref you need to get to Belco and see how it could be done in Civic and elsewhere. Admittedly it is still ‘a work in progress’ but the potential is there for all to see.

You will also find that people in Belco really care and take the time to pick up the rubbish. It may sound foolish but there is a real sense of community and the values that follow in Belco.

enrique 12:36 pm 25 Aug 10

Agree that something should be done. It was only 5 or 10 minutes ago that I was driving along Northbourne thinking “Canberra’s centenary is coming up, you’d hope that a bit of money was spent sprucing the place up for such a special occasion”. Mow the lawns and trim the edges, tidy up the parks and gardens, get rid of the weeds, give everything a new coat of paint, and complete all the major urban works now in time for the centenary.

Another thing that comes to mind when I see the delapidated state of the city is the Broken Windows Theory… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_windows_theory

Perhaps the government should promote a series of working bees where Canberrans can come out together to help tidy up their own town. Promote a sense of community and pride in the place. Attach a few substantial prizes for registered participants to boost the numbers. It’d never get up though, public liability insurance would probably kill it (I wonder how Clean Up Australia day deals with that issue?)

Mathman 10:53 am 25 Aug 10

To be fair, we are at the end of winter – things always look drab and dreary this time of year compared to more temperate climates like Sydney and Brisbane. Canberra will never have lush green grass covering everything and with five years of drought things are going to look bare in places.

The weeds on Commonwealth Avenue Bridge are pretty poor form though. However, there is nothing stopping you from clearing them yourself. Same goes for picking up bits of paper lying around.

Bronto 10:30 am 25 Aug 10

WELL SAID – I’ve lived here all my life and Canberra does look unloved, dirty, tired and run down. If Stanhope thinks spending tax payers money on art and the aboretum is going to entice people here – he’s very wrong. No point having art and nice trees if the rest of the capital looks like a dump.

Where’s the pride in keeping the Capital nice and neat, weed free, trimmed trees etc. It was a beautiful, clean city but now with grafitti and everything else that looks like crap – it’s an embarrassment.

Clean up Canberra now.

sepi 9:58 am 25 Aug 10

Yep – it was a saving on mantenance costs. But has led to broken glass through all the kiddy playgrounds. Noice.

johnboy 9:53 am 25 Aug 10

Bin removal had more to do with the government not wanting to pay to empty or maintain them IMHO.

georgesgenitals 9:44 am 25 Aug 10

Did we get rid of the bins because of all the terrorists who were hiding bombs in them?

Holden Caulfield 9:40 am 25 Aug 10

sepi said :

Bringing back public rubbish bins to parks would be a really good start.
Littering is becoming second nature to a whole generation, as there are just no bins available.

You’ll find the bins have probably been removed due to the spate of bombs that have been left inside bins around Canberra. It was really out of control there for a while!

sepi 8:56 am 25 Aug 10

Bringing back public rubbish bins to parks would be a really good start.
Littering is becoming second nature to a whole generation, as there are just no bins available.

Noezis 8:14 am 25 Aug 10

I have to agree DEREF, I travel frequently to Sydney and even it looks fresher and more attractive than Canberra. The Melbourne and Sydney buildings need to be revitalised, our parks to actually look like parks and not dustbowls filled with litter.

The worst looking area and probably the one seen the most around Canberra is the Commonwealth Bridge…the amount of weeds on or around that bridge makes it embarrassing. Foreign dignitaries drive over the bridge, what they must think about Canberra let alone Australia, being that we are the nation’s capital.

nhand42 8:12 am 25 Aug 10

And don’t even get started on the roadworks and construction sites. I’ve been unable to go anywhere in Canberra for the past 2 years without everything being in disarray. It’s pissing me off.

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